Confused Words Exercise (608)

In each sentence, choose the correct word from the pair of similar terms. (If both words possibly can be correct, choose the more plausible one.)

  • We are in this _________.

  • I know that he’ll manage to _______ a deal that will benefit only him.

  • He said that he would _______ getting involved.

  • I watched through the gap in the screen as they proceeded to _______ through the packing trunk.

  • Even though the situation was grim, he remained _________ about their chances of survival.

Answers and Explanations

1. We are in this all together.

all together: in a group. "We were all together when it happened."
altogether: completely, totally. "Your proposal is altogether preposterous."

2. I know that he’ll manage to wangle a deal that will benefit only him.

wangle: obtain by underhanded means. "She wangled an invitation to the party despite the fact that they’ve never even met her."
wrangle: argue; care for livestock. "They wrangled for hours about the details of the proposal."

3. He said that he would forbear getting involved.

forbear: avoid, refrain from. "If I were you, I would forbear mentioning anything about it."
forebear: ancestor. "A forebear of his founded the company."

4. I watched through the gap in the screen as they proceeded to rifle through the packing trunk.

rifle: search in preparation for stealing or taking. "They walked through the door just as he was about to rifle through their belongings."
riffle: shuffle or flip through papers or cards. "She started to riffle through the stack of documents."

5. Even though the situation was grim, he remained sanguine about their chances of survival.

sanguine: optimistic, ruddy. "Coach Jones is sanguine about the prospects for the Wildcats, noting that half of the starting lineup is returning from last season’s league-championship team."
saturnine: melancholy, moody, sullen. "She learned to avoid him when he was in a saturnine mood."

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